L$425,000 in three hours: the MJF Premiere Party

Angel Manor - venue for the MJF Premiere Party
Angel Manor

On Thursday September 26th, I had the honour of attending the VIP Michael J. Fox Show Premiere Party. A gala evening organised by Team Fox SL coordinator Solas, and co-hosted by Team Fox SL and Creations for Parkinson’s at the magnificent Rose Theatre Ballroom, Angel Manor.

The event was to both mark the premiere of Michael J. Fox’s new television series, The Michael J. Fox Show, and to raise funds for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research through the Foundation’s grass-roots fundraising arm, Team Fox.

Barbi Achemi (r) and, just turning away from the Camera, event organiser, Solas (l)
Barbi Alchemi (r) and, just turning away from the Camera, event organiser, Solas (l)

Over 100 parties and events were planned across the USA and Canada to mark Mr. Fox’s return to television in a series which also seeks to raise awareness of Parkinson’s – Mr. Fox plays a newsman making a return to work after being diagnosed with the disease. However, there was only one event to be held in a virtual world.

The party kicked-off at 15:00 SLT in the sumptuous surroundings of the Rose Theatre Ballroom, with some 30 or so guests. Satin Galli provided live entertainment for the first hour, which I sadly missed do to commitments elsewhere. By the time I arrived, DJ Graywolf was spinning tunes hand-picked by Michael J Fox’s son, Sam. At that time the ballroom floor was alive with people dancing on their own, as couples, or in small groups, and more were seated at tables set-out around the dance floor.

Fran Serenade and the Premiere Party Bear
Fran Seranade and the Premiere Party Bear

Barbi Alchemi, founder of Creations for Parkinson’s was there, as was her mother, Fran Seranade, herself suffering from the disease, and both of whom have featured in a number of SL blogs, including this one and in the media at large. Also on hand was event organiser, Solas, and Tredi Felisimo (Donna Davis (PhD, an Assistant Professor at University of Oregon), who is studying the physical and psychological effects of virtual worlds on people with Parkinson’s on her region of Frantastica, which adjoins Creations Park, where Creations for Parkinson’s is based.

Also spread around the ballroom were display boards for items donated to the event auction, and which drew some fantastic bids including:

  • L$ 35,000 bid by Marcusgay Lefevre for two minutes of video magic about himself and filmed by Draxtor Despres the man behind “The Drax Files”
  • L$25,000 bid by Wyndlyght Epona for a chance to work alongside DB Bailey, an architect who provides unique spaces with complex vibrant textures zealously executed are walks of art, and learn his magic
  • L$7,000 bid by Redorange Magic for a beautiful gown from  Sascha’s Designs, winner of the  AVI Choice Award  Best Female Apparel Designer  for two consecutive years
  • Draxtor Despres takes me for a gracious turn around the dance floor!
    Draxtor Despres takes me for a gracious turn around the dance floor

    L$ 6,500 bid by Lisa Valentino for a unique garment designed for them by Solas NaGealai  owner of  BlueMoon enterprise

  • L$6,000 bid by Lisa Valentino for a one-of-a-kind complete avatar, MICHELLE, a high quality, attractive female Shape and Skin from PYRO. Comes with Eyes, Lip Gloss and Hair
  • L$5,000 bid by QuillRiley for tea and a talk with “Creations Mom” Fran Seranade
  • L$5,000 bid by Zip Zlatkis for a magical portrait for two done by Jaden Hollow.

These bids, together with tickets sold for the event, donations made during the evening and the evening’s raffle, mean that L$425,000 (approx $1,700 USD) was raised for the Michael J. Fox Foundation in three hours!

All-in-all this was a fabulous evening, one enjoyed by all. Congratulations to Creations for Parkinson’s, Team Fox SL, to all those who donated auction and raffle items, time and effort, and especially to Solas, for making it all possible.

The ballroom and party
The ballroom and party

About the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

Founded in 2000, the MJFF has raised over $350 million towards finding a cure for Parkinson’s Disease, making it the world-wide leader in helping to fund research into the disease. Of the funds raised by the Foundation:

  • 52%  goes directly into altering the disease – developing a treatment that could restore function to damaged dopamine neurons in the brains of Parkinson’s patients;
  • 22% goes directly into defining the disease – biomarkers are a critical missing link for developing next-generation treatments. Biomarkers of Parkinson’s will allow researchers to track the disease risk and progression of Parkinson’s disease and detect whether other treatments are working
  • 18% goes directly towards untreated symptoms – available treatments for Parkinson’s address only some symptoms and bring on highly disabling side effects, reducing quality of life for Parkinson’s patients and families
  • 8% goes into tools creation – the Foundation creates and distributes critical research tools to help investigators spend more time focusing on what matters: curing Parkinson’s disease.

Related Links

Anyone with Parkinson’s disease who is interested in learning more about Tredi Felisimo’s research at Frantastica, can contact her in-world, or via email at dzdavis-at-uoregon.edu.